In the midst of a massive military recruiting crisis and Republicans taking the House, the misguided vaccine mandate may be on its way out.
Final defense legislation set to be unveiled next week could undo the Pentagon’s policy of kicking out troops for not taking the Covid vaccine, the Democratic chair of the House Armed Services Committee said Saturday.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said a rollback of the policy is on the table for a compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act, but hasn’t been decided yet.
“We haven’t resolved it, but it is very fair to say that it’s in discussion,” Smith told POLITICO on the sidelines of the Reagan National Defense Forum. He noted that the mandate may not be logical anymore.
“I was a very strong supporter of the vaccine mandate when we did it, a very strong supporter of the Covid restrictions put in place by DoD and others,” he added. “But at this point in time, does it make sense to have that policy from August 2021? That is a discussion that I am open to and that we’re having.”
Biden’s Secretary of Defense insists that vaccine segregation must remain, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops, as Republican governors and lawmakers press to rescind it.
“We lost a million people to this virus,” Austin told reporters traveling with him Saturday. “A million people died in the United States of America. We lost hundreds in DOD. So this mandate has kept people healthy.”
“I’m the guy” who ordered the military to require the vaccine, Austin added. “I support continuation of vaccinating the troops.”
One million people and hundreds in DOD. The stupidity of this argument speaks for itself.
The latest DOD totals showed 690 deaths, of those only 96 were military. Last time I checked was in July and there were 95 military deaths.
The vast majority of deaths involved civilians. The people most at risk here are the elderly, immune compromised and otherwise not the healthy men that the military needs. Austin has no medical argument to make here, but the vaccine mandate was never actually a medical issue.
It was a political one that was part of the larger ideological purge of the military.
It fulfills the Biden administration’s true objective of purging conservatives from the only remaining part of the federal government whose personnel are largely conservative. Democrats are hollowing out another part of the federal government to make it an even bigger sinecure for their people while driving everyone who isn’t part of their political machine.
That’s why Austin continues to stand by it even as Democrats are abandoning it.